Stephen Fry narrates Missing Lines audiobook for charity Missing People

The audiobook created by House337 abruptly ends to show the lasting limbo felt by those missing loved ones

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds. A new audiobook aims to draw attention to this shocking statistic and bring to life the feeling of limbo friends and families are left in when someone goes missing. Created by UK charity Missing People, the audiobook is narrated by Stephen Fry and leaves listeners hanging with an abrupt ending.

‘The Missing Lines’ is available as a podcast and it tells the story of Marcus. When listeners download the audiobook Fry tells the story of how Marcus is coerced into working with a county lines drugs gang. After three minutes of story the audio abruptly ends to signify the main character going missing.

For the next eight chapters, audiences can hear nothing but silence. The listener is deprived of any information about Marcus’ journey and are left with no conclusion. This is designed to reflect the real-life experiences of thousands of people who experience loved ones going missing.

The final section of the podcast sees Fry reveal that the audio has not been broken. He explains that thousands of people in the UK go missing each year and points to the charity Missing People. Fry explains that the story is a reflection of the real-life harrowing impact of feeling left in limbo when a loved one goes missing.

“For the people listening to the Missing Lines, that will probably mean something like frustration. The break in Marcus’ story being a possible mistake, or something that ruins your day. But when a person goes missing in real life, their loved ones are left with unimaginable loss. It could be your child, it could be someone in your family, a friend or a colleague battling a crisis in silence. Or, it could be you,” says Stephen Fry.

He continues: “I myself went missing at a time of crisis in my life, I have an understanding of the pain it causes for everyone involved. I was fortunate enough to be reunited with my loved ones, not everyone gets that reunion. When someone disappears, they become invisible, and many of them come to harm. Tragically, more missing people than ever before are being found dead. This is a national crisis. The charity Missing People exists to connect everyone who is missing to safety, and to give them and those who miss them hope.”

Fry is a longstanding patron of Missing People and has been involved in several previous initiatives, including a digital outdoor campaign to promote the UK Child’s Rescue Alert system developed to speed up the reporting of missing children.

‘The Missing Lines’ campaign was created pro bono by House 337. The agency came up with the idea for a story about a missing child, wrote the opening pages and invented a fictional author. The agency approached Fry to narrate the podcast which has been distributed via Apple and Spotify’ and promoted through the Acast network and by notable influencers on social media such as Fry.

The agency also designed the cover art for the book which acts as a digital out of home creative for the campaign.

With over 170,000 going missing each year in the UK, Missing People offers a lifeline for anyone affected by going missing or thinking of going missing. The Missing Lines audiobook creatively brings to life the experience of missing loved ones and shows the lasting impact it has. 

To find out more and donate to Missing People, please click here.

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